Its membership has grown to include more than 14,000 Southsiders, and the facility welcomes members from YMCAs nationwide.
As a part of the national network of Y’s, Baxter Y was founded with the mission to build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The first YMCA, or Young Men’s Christian Assocation, was founded June 6, 1844 in London.
Baxter has a rich history and has served as a pillar to the community since its inception.
The center thrives because of its dedicated members, who were integral in helping the center rebuild after a tornado destroyed the building in 2002, said member involvement specialist Katie Burrell.
The damages exceeded $1 million, and the center was temporarily relocated to a facility next to Hubler Chevrolet. Thanks to the support of the community and dedication of staff and members, the Y was rebuilt in 2003. A $2 million capital funds campaign helped launch a $7.2 million project to increase the size of the center by 26,000 square feet.
Now, in 2015 Baxter is humbled to continue to serve the Southside through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility for the next 50 years.